Monday, August 04, 2008

Greener Pastures

This one goes out to the 25 screaming kids (I wish I were kidding) and parents (who were screaming too) who descended on the tranquil al fresco breakfast my husband and I were trying to enjoy the second morning of our vacation last week. You almost made me consider trading in my FSH-laden syringes for some Ortho-Cyclen. Almost.

Lest you think I've returned from said vacation still heavy with bitterness, rest assured: The only heaviness I brought back is from butter-drenched seafood dishes, an array of fine cheeses and glass upon glass of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. My mind, spirit and stomach are happier than they've been in a long, long time. Almost as soon as we got to our rented condo, I felt so much of the tension of the past few months evaporate. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about infertility (and I know you'd see right through it anyway). But I could almost pretend we were just your average married couple, pre-kids, on a weeklong summer vacation.

Of course, the same things that draw a childfree married couple to a seaside town also draw scores and scores of fertile people and their spawn. The stroller-to-people ratio felt like 3:1 at times. And nothing makes a barren girl feel more barren than watching a cherubic little face devouring an ice cream cone as his or her adoring parents look on.

As I observed all of this and started to slip away from my blissed-out vacation mode back into sad, stressed-out territory, something occurred to me which, though it might be supremely obvious to anyone with an objective point of view on the topic, had not previously made its way into my oft-irrational mind. What if those couples I was looking at with such envy as they took up valuable sidewalk real estate with their MacLarens (another topic for another time) were, when I wasn't paying attention, looking wistfully back at me and my husband and our long, leisurely, non-"family style" dinners that never, ever, included the words, "I have to go potty?" What if, someday in the not-too-distant future, I think back to this week we had and wish we could get in a time machine for a visit?

Maybe those parents of the 25 kids who invaded our breakfast wished we could take them off their hands for a while. Maybe they wanted to go to the beach and just sit there, reading like me, instead of building sandcastles and "burying" children in the sand. Maybe someday I'll look back on this time, when we hung in the delicate balance between couple and family, between two and three (or four?), when it was still just us with the hope of something more, and, knowing that the pain would eventually stop and the longed-for baby would arrive and all the joy of that was still ahead of me in this moment, feel a certain longing.

Until then, all I can do is pick up the torch again and keep chasing the dream. It starts tomorrow, with bloodwork to confirm I'm not pregnant (insert sarcasm here) or ovulating on my own. Barring that miracle, I'll start Provera and, about a week later, a new injectable/IUI cycle with my fabulous new doctor. As green as the grass may be on this side, I'm not giving up on my search for something greener.


R.E.S. said...

Many of them are jealous. And, statistically speaking, many of them had those spawn through ivf, iui, etc. You will soon be one of them! Grab every morsel of date night/day/week joy you can now!

rescogitatae said...

Welcome back! I bet your comment about the parents was spot on. But hopefully you'll soon be one of those looking longingly at the child-free couples while you wipe ice cream/sand/dirt/fur from your bub.

I hope it was a great vacation!

eggdance said...

Welcome back! This is such a great post and I think you hit on something true here. The grass IS always greener and I am sure that the couples trailing after their children, cleaning up endless spills, and breaking up sibling fights (for the 100th time) do look at couples with no children and sigh wistfully as they recall sleeping in and disposable income. On the other hand, in this quest, we look om them with envy.

I think it would be so much easier if we all just knew when we would get our families. The getting there might still be tough, but we would know that there was a concrete end point to all of this suffering and wanting. Not knowing whether we will have to keep trying for six months or 2 years is what always gets me.

I'm really glad you are back and I am looking forward to seeing you this week!!!